CYNA Rodriguez came up with a fine short game to make up for some shaky iron play and card a three-under 69 that stretched her lead over Mia Piccio to four after the second round of the ICTSI Wack Wack Ladies Philippine Golf Tour on Wednesday.
Rodriguez, one stroke ahead after one round, hit just nine greens but knocked down five birdies inside 10 feet and rescued four pars on the unpredictable putting surface to produce the lone under-par round of the day.
“I have the lead and that’s good,” said Rodriguez, who was at five-under 139 total.
She is 18 holes away from matching Dottie Ardina’s back-to-back titles in the inaugural ladies pro circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Piccio, who had an opening 71, fell by as many as five strokes with a two-over 38 at the turn but fought back with two birdies coming home to salvage a 72 for a 143 total.
While Rodriguez cashed in on her steady putting, Piccio struggled on the greens, three-putting the par-5 No. 4 and flubbing a six-footer for par on the ninth.
Still, the product of the University of Florida remains confident of her chances of scoring a victory on her very first try on the tour backed Nike Golf, Pacsports, Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.
“Anything can still happen,” said Piccio.
Rodriguez stressed the need to stick with her game plan as she did at Eagle Ridge two weeks ago where she beat Jayvie Agojo by eight.
“I just have to hit more greens. Today (Tuesday) was not as good as I hit only nine greens. But I’m still happy to extend my lead,” said Rodriguez, who birdied Nos. 4, 8, 10, 13 and 18 to negate her bogeys on Nos. 12 and 16.
Princess Superal, winner in a tournament in Kuala Lumpur last week, failed to get her game going for the second straight day, making three birdies against four bogeys for a one-over 73 and a 149, 10 shots off Rodriguez with just 18 holes to play in the tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
That virtually reduces the battle for the top P100,000 purse into a two-player affair with Rodriguez enjoying a big lead and the momentum to nail a second straight championship.
Chihiro Ikeda, a pre-tournament favorite, continued to struggle and carded a second straight 75 for a 150, while Agojo bounced back from a 78 with a 73 but remained way behind at 151.
Amateur Felicia Medalla turned in a 76 for a 153 followed by Del Monte’s Apple Fudolin (81-156), Eva Minoza (78-157), Lucy Landicho (77-158), and Barsy Leonen (79-159).